my sympathy! similar situation happened too.
my sympathy! similar situation happened too.
Who needs an anti-independence law?
It’s a dreadful prospect but an independent Hong Kong is a notion that keeps coming back like a bad dream.
And its all thanks to Beijing loyalists who find it useful in diverting attention from the ongoing public debate on democratic reform.
The question, obviously, is do Hong Kong people really want independence? The answer is absolutely not.
On Wednesday, Leung Chun-ying cooled the rhetoric by saying his government has no plans to introduce anti-independence legislation, although he reminded Hong Kong people to be alert for the slightest signs of separatism.
But the announcement is not stopping government allies from keeping the issue on the boil — they want China to inject an anti-separatism provision into its statutes.
The latest initiative comes from Lawrence Ma, an Australian Chinese lawyer who is a member of pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.
The move was apparently inspired by recent protests against mainland shoppers and parallel traders.
In his mind, the protests are a sign Hong Kong people want nothing to do with China.
Ma reminds us of another pro-Beijing politician, Stanley Ng, leader of the Federation of Trade Unions, who recently urged Beijing to outlaw any activity that mentions independence and to tighten its grip on Hong Kong by pushing for the approval of the mothballed national security law.
Last week, Ma led a delegation to Beijing, armed with a draft anti-independence bill, to lobby the Basic Law Committee and the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office.
The idea of a Hong Kong city-state has been around for years since Lingnan University scholar Wan Chin raised it in his book Theory Of Hong Kong City-State.
It began to catch on among netizens in the aftermath of last year’s democracy protests.
But Chin has not offered anything by way of making Hong Kong independence happen or done anything to promote the idea.
It was Leung who drilled it into the public consciousness and made it an official concern in his policy address in January when he singled out a student magazine for publishing an academic discussion of independence.
It was a signal to government allies to get behind the offensive.
Ng began making noises about implementing Beijing’s draconian state security law in Hong Kong pending its own national security legislation.
Last month, pro-Beijing media splashed on claims a Hong Kong Independence Party had registered with the British Electoral Commission in February.
The reports said the party used Hong Kong’s British colonial flag as its emblem, and criticized Chin for suggesting a Hong Kong city-state.
Which makes us wonder why Beijing loyalists continue to harp on a subject about which Hong Kong people could not care less.
Sure, the topic continues to attract comments on social media but there is no evidence any one is taking it any further.
But people like Ma, who holds an Australian passport, think Hong Kong is going to be in the grip of a revolution anytime soon.
The Courage of Ordinary People
2015/4/9 — 10:27
【 By Wilson Leung, Convenor of Progressive Lawyers Group / 文：梁允信,《法政匯思》召集人 】
The Progressive Lawyers Group (法政匯思) (PLG) was formed in January 2015, shortly after the end of the Umbrella Movement. We are a group of lawyers and law students who strive to protect Hong Kong’s core values such as rule of law, judicial independence, human rights, and freedom.
Since its formation, PLG has issued statements on a variety of topics, including the Chief Executive election in 2017, the Government’s political advertising, and attacks against the Judiciary.
We are extremely grateful and fortunate to have received a positive reception from many members of the public and from other civil society groups. We are deeply thankful for all the encouraging comments and invaluable guidance that have been given to us.
However, as PLG’s public profile has started to develop, we have also begun to experience various attacks.
Recently, there have been an increasing number of offensive comments posted on our Facebook page. Although we are most happy to hear different viewpoints and receive constructive criticism, unfortunately, many of these comments rely on insulting language and do not contain any reasoning or analysis.
PLG has also been the target of false allegations that are not supported by any evidence (such as the untrue suggestion, made by some pro-Beijing media, that PLG is in fact a puppet organisation of the pan-democrat parties).
Undeniably, these attacks have been disturbing and uncomfortable to us. After all, the majority of PLG members are junior practitioners in their twenties or early thirties. We are not political veterans: most of us have no experience in public affairs. We are not used to being the target of public attacks. We are just a group of ordinary lawyers – and ordinary Hong Kong people.
However, we are determined not to be silenced by these types of unfair and low-grade attacks. Instead, these attacks will strengthen our resolve, and make us redouble our efforts, to speak out on important topics that affect Hong Kong’s core values.
Although we are merely a group of ordinary lawyers, it is our firm belief that progress is achieved by the courage of ordinary people. It is usually the great leaders who are commemorated in the history books, but it is the acts of countless ordinary men and women, each playing their own small part, that create change in the world.
Take the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Martin Luther King Jr. is rightly celebrated for his role as a key leader in that movement. But none of its success could have been achieved without the courage of innumerable ordinary people who stood up in the face of harassment, hostility, and physical violence.
There was, for example, the ‘Little Rock Nine’. These were nine black teenagers who, in 1957, sought to attend an all-white high school. Even though a court had ordered the school to admit black students, the state governor ignored the court order and deployed soldiers to prevent the nine students from entering the school. Eventually, the federal government intervened and sent troops to escort the students – who encountered verbal abuse and angry threats from the mob outside – into the school. But their ordeal was far from over. Throughout the school year, the nine students were subjected to bullying, threats, and discrimination by their classmates and teachers. This was bravely endured by the students, eight of whom successfully completed the school year – the first black students ever to do so in that school.
There was also the ‘Greensboro Four’: four black university students who, in 1960, sat down at a ‘whites-only’ restaurant and asked to be served. The restaurant refused. They returned the next day with 20 other students and were again denied service. However, their bold actions inspired similar sit-ins across the US; within 2 months, the movement had spread to 55 cities. Although many participants encountered insults, abuse, arrests, and violence, their brave actions drew much attention to the struggle for equal rights for African-Americans. By the summer of 1960, many segregated restaurants across the US South had become open to black customers.
We are not suggesting, by any means, that our efforts are on par with the brave actions of the Little Rock Nine and the Greensboro Four. Further, we are keenly aware that there are many others, in Hong Kong, who have experienced far greater threats than we have in the struggle for freedom and democracy.
Our point is simply this: that we will do our best to stand firm in the face of vicious attacks, and hope that other Hong Kongers will join us in doing the same. It is only through such courage – the courage of ordinary people – that we can create a better future for Hong Kong and protect its core values.
Pretty in-depth article -
Hong Kong’s Clashes Over Mainland Shoppers Show Rising Cultural Tensions With ChinaBut like the Umbrella Movement protesters, the anti-mainland shopping demonstrators -- though generally “less privileged,” according to Cabestan --“share a very strong sense of Hong Kong identity ... strengthened by the perceived mainland threat.”One of the organizers of the protests in Sheung Shui is a softly spoken, bespectacled interior designer in his late 20s named Ray Wong. He also took part in the Umbrella Movement, but felt it was not assertive enough.
After the movement faded away late last year, Wong and his friends set up a group they call Hong Kong Indigenous, with the aim of defending the city’s Cantonese culture and cosmopolitan values, such as rule of law and freedom of expression, from what they see as China’s attempts to muzzle civil liberties and turn Hong Kong into “just another Chinese city,” dominated by the Communist Party.
Wong may speak fluent Mandarin, which he learned at school, but he says that’s actually part of the problem: “Now in Hong Kong schools we’re getting more and more education in Mandarin,” he says. “Hong Kong’s tourism chief has even said that all education here should be in Mandarin, and they want to bring in more mainland teachers.” It’s part of what he sees as “the policy of the Communist Party to damage Hong Kong culture. … They want to brainwash us, to dye our next generation red. Once students are used to using Mandarin, they’ll be willing to accept getting their news from mainland news media, too.”
To Wong, the influx of mainland shoppers, along with the immigration of more and more mainlanders into Hong Kong since it returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, is part of a concerted attempt to dilute Hong Kong’s uniqueness: “Since 1997 a million people have moved to Hong Kong, many have had children here,” he says. “And the numbers of people coming over from Shenzhen have gone up so fast -- in 2013 they made 8 million visits, last year it was over 14 million. The government’s not controlling it. Why don’t they intervene?”
Wong says he doesn’t condone violent protests, but adds that the withering of the Umbrella Movement was a reminder that sometimes “a gentle approach” doesn’t always achieve results. “Sometimes you need to have some kind of clash,” he says, recalling earlier demonstrations in 2012, when mainland citizens worried about the safety of China’s dairy industry stripped Hong Kong’s shops of infant formula milk powder. After the protests the city’s government responded by banning people from taking more than two cans of formula with them when they left Hong Kong.Wong admits that, as a result of his work with Hong Kong Indigenous, he has been criticized, even by his own family, for being unpatriotic. His parents have threatened to throw him out of the family apartment, and his cousins, who come from across the border in Guangdong, “say I’ve been paid by the West.”
But he says such views are an example of Chinese-style “brainwashing,” and only make him more determined to stick to his guns.
“The number of mainlanders is growing all the time, they’re everywhere,” he says. “We need to do something quickly to protect our culture. We have to be quick.”Many in Hong Kong reject the methods, and often the message, of the anti-parallel-trading protesters. But it’s clear that, in recent years, an emphasis on local culture has been growing among many of the city’s young. There are more books on Hong Kong history in the shops, and, particularly since the Umbrella Movement, the city has seen campaigns to support small local businesses, in an attempt to reinforce its uniqueness. It may require a more nuanced and locally sensitive response from Beijing to reverse the trend.